Imran Khan elected as Pakistan’s 22nd prime minister

Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan’s Tehreek-i-Insaf Party, was elected as the country’s 22nd prime minister.

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In Islamabad on Friday, members of the National Assembly voted for Khan to be leader of the house, making him Pakistan’s head of state.

The 65-year-old cricketer-turned politician was favored to win Friday’s National Assembly vote. His PTI party emerged as the country’s leading party in the July 25 election.

Khan needed a simple majority to be confirmed. The assembly chose between he and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, the former chief minister of Punjab and younger brother of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Khan won the July 25 vote, but his party did not gain enough seats for a majority, forcing him to align with other groups to form a coalition government.

Nawaz Sharif, who was Pakistan’s prime minister for three separate terms between 1990 and 2017, has said the July vote was rigged against his brother, and that his party protests Khan’s victory.

The Pakistan People’s Party asked the PML-N to nominate someone else as a candidate after Sharif was accused of saying derogatory remarks against PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari.

Khan helped lead the country to a cricket World Cup win in 1992 and formed the PTI four years later. If elected, his government will be Pakistan’s third consecutive democratic government since 2008.

By Susan McFarland